From the Ontario Government Invasive species website:
"Eurasian water-milfoil prefers shallow water one to three metres deep, but can root in up to 10 metres of water. A fast-growing perennial, it forms dense underwater mats that shade other aquatic plants. When large stands begin to die off in the fall, the decaying plants can reduce oxygen levels in the water."
The picture below shows Hatzic Lake after most of the water has been allowed to drain out to the Fraser River. When water levels are higher at Hatzic Lake the brown areas are full of water. Water levels at Hatzic Lake can be controlled by the use of flood gates and pump station at Hatzic Slough.
Hatzic Lake Improvement Society aims to ensure that eurasian mifoil levels are controlled. Currently, government required reports and expensive consultations and delays in permits are causing the lake to be choked out. This must be addressed immediately.
Initiatives to remove and prevent the spread of invasive Flowering Rush (Butomus umbellatus)
With our organization’s mission always in mind, we strive to find new strategies for dealing with this challenging invasive weed. Hatzic Lake is one of the only identified Southern BC Lakes where Flowering Rush occurs. We believe removal efforts should no longer be delayed. The Invasive Species Council of BC planned to remove Flowering Rush from Hatzic Lake and funds were committed by the BC Government but due to understaffing, the project was not realized. With government funding, public support, and community involvement we propose to get this work underway as soon as possible.
Lake levels should be managed year-round to allow for adequate water depths and connectivity for fish to upland streams throughout the year. The Invasive Council of BC's own website cites fluctuating lake levels as a cause of Flowering Rush spreading into new areas.
Properly manage lake levels
At Hatzic Lake Improvement Society, we are dedicated to addressing the issue of water levels at the lake. In 1948, the Fraser River caused catastrophic flooding of the valley due massive dike breaches. Hatzic Lake, Hatzic Island and portions of Hatzic Valley were affected. In 2015, a pump system upgrade at Hatzic Lake has resulted in more reliable water management at the lake and improved flood prevention capabilities. It is our goal to insure that residents of the area are safe from flooding, while working to achieve the goal of higher lake levels year-round. We aim to lobby government for additional resources to provide adequate water levels through long-term water licenses, dredging, more pumps, additional Hydro subsidization or whatever other means are necessary to facilitate a healthy lake ecosystem and protect the inhabitants and neighbors of Hatzic Lake.
We care about our neighbors and our community.
Abandoned homes, closed down businesses and a weak local economy does not help the lake. A healthy lake is in everyone's best interest. We need to help the lake to support the wildlife and fish that attract recreationalists that in turn support local businesses, bed and breakfasts, short- term rentals, recreational properties, and the long standing Kid's Camp that rely on the lake to survive.
The flood of 1948 transported Fraser River silt, mud and top soil from farms and deposited it in the lake. For years residents have complained about a much shallower lake. Dewdney Area Improvement District has attempted to restore lake levels to no avail. Some progress had been made to obtain funding, only to have the success stymied in delays. We are committed to lobbying for adequate lake depths as well as managing sediment and maintaining upland drainage to address farm property concerns.